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An image of the KFC logo. By branding himself as “Colonel Sanders”, Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it experienced mixed fortunes domestically, as it went through a series of changes in corporate ownership with little or no experience in the restaurant business. The chain continued to expand overseas, however, and in 1987, it became the first Western restaurant chain to open in China. It has since expanded rapidly in China, which is now the company’s single largest market. Tricon Global Restaurants, which later changed its name to Yum!
Sanders’ recipe of 11 herbs and spices. Finger Lickin’ Good”, “Nobody does chicken like KFC” and “So good”. This left Sanders, as the eldest son, to care for his two younger siblings. After he reached seven years of age, his mother taught him how to cook. After leaving the family home at the age of 13, Sanders passed through several professions, with mixed success. After four years of serving from his own dining room table, Sanders purchased the larger filling station on the other side of the road and expanded to six tables. If he pre-cooked the chicken in advance of orders, there was sometimes wastage at day’s end.
The new method reduced production time to be comparable with deep frying, while, in the opinion of Sanders, retaining the quality of pan-fried chicken. In July 1940, Sanders finalised what came to be known as his “Original Recipe” of 11 herbs and spices. Although he never publicly revealed the recipe, he admitted to the use of salt and pepper, and claimed that the ingredients “stand on everybody’s shelf”. Sanders sold his properties and traveled the US to franchise his chicken recipe to restaurant owners. Sanders’ “secret blend of herbs and spices” and the right to feature his recipe on their menus and use his name and likeness for promotional purposes. Don Anderson, a sign painter hired by Harman, coined the name “Kentucky Fried Chicken”.
Harman trademarked the phrase “It’s finger lickin’ good”, which eventually became the company-wide slogan. Serving their signature meal in a paper bucket was to become an iconic feature of the company. By 1963 there were 600 KFC restaurants, making the company the largest fast food operation in the United States. The contract included a lifetime salary for Sanders and the agreement that he would be the company’s quality controller and trademark. The chain had reached 3,000 outlets in 48 different countries by 1970. Sanders died in 1980, his promotional work making him a prominent figure in American cultural history. 2 billion of sales annually.
Kyle Craig, president of KFC US, admitted the change was an attempt to distance the chain from the unhealthy connotations of “fried”. By 1994, KFC had 5,149 outlets in the US, and 9,407 overall, with over 100,000 employees. To combat this, the company launched a new initiative with a plan to revamp its packaging, decor and uniforms, as well as expanding its menu. Sanders in similar ads through the fall of 2016. KFC is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, one of the largest restaurant companies in the world. By December 2013, there were 18,875 KFC outlets in 118 countries and territories around the world.